Punxsutawney Phil Says Spring is Coming Early!

How the HECK did he get away with that! My understanding is that we had the situation under control! We had out best people there and the word was that we had Punxsutawney’s furry little wife and kids as “incentive” to make certain that old Phil would make the “right call” – one that would advise us that Spring was six weeks away! But NO! He couldn’t cooperate! He HAD to be a big, fat, brave rodent.

Hold on a sec. I’m getting word from our guys on the scene. Here, I’ll just patch you guys through so that you can hear the news firsthand.

“Ah, yea, Mike. We, ah, we um just took Punxsutawney Phil out. It only took one shot to the back of his furry little head. Ah, Mike, we thought we had him ready to cooperate. Just an hour before going live this morning he was rehearsing his little poem.”

Here’s what we had prepared for him:

The start of the winter was one for the ages.
It had fooled all the supposed weather guru sages.

With Denver and the west getting all of the snows,
We thought we’d deliver a few more winter blows.

On this rather sunny, blessed Groundhog Day,
We figured we’d deliver what the skiers and boarders say.

On Gobbler’s Knob here’s the news with some tweaks,
For the skiers and snow lovers Winter’s six more weeks!

Well, then what the heck happened up there?

“Um, Mike, we really don’t know. But the dude just double-crossed us and we were forced to take him out.”

Okay, okay. Let’s do some damage control. Have we got our replacement clone in place? We don’t need this to happen again.

“Oh sure, Mike. Punxsutawney Philippe is already in place. We released “his” family to him and as far as we can tell his little wife and kids like this guy better anyway!”

Well that’s it for today from Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Since we were not able to hijack Phil prior to his statement this morning, here’s the REAL release – although we like OURS a whole lot better. Maybe we can get the NEW Phil to recite it next year with some additional tweaks to include a GREAT start to winter!

Here’s the Official Statement as read 2/2/07 at sunrise at Gobbler’s Knob:

El Nino has caused high winds, heavy snow, ice and freezing temperatures in the west.
Here in the East with much mild winter weather we have been blessed.

Global warming has caused a great debate.
This mild winter makes it seem just great.

On this Groundhog Day we think of one thing.
Will we have winter or will we have spring?

On Gobbler’s Knob I see no shadow today.
I predict that early spring is on the way.

Here’s the Additional Notes from Around the Region!

Temperatures this morning are about 25-30 DEGREES milder than just two mornings ago! That is amazing. Equally amazing is the snow that we had on Thursday across many areas. We spoke with numerous people who reported in with 1-2” of snow around Sugar Mountain, Banner Elk, etc, who CALLED BACK later in the afternoon to report that it was all but gone! The sun broke through and temps zoomed to near 40° and that killed the snow that had fallen earlier in the day. It was probably one of the prettiest snows I’ve seen in some time as it was accompanied by little or no wind. However, it was also a very dry, powdery snow and hence when the temps roared upwards and the sun broke out…it simply disappeared.

The most snow in the state of North Carolina was in the Southwest portion of the state and that was great for Sapphire Valley as they picked up nearly 6” of snow. I spoke with RJ Grady there this morning and he said everything is covered in snow and they will be open this afternoon at 5pm.

Most of the resorts in North Carolina reported only light snow. Here’s the numbers:

Appalachian – 1” (14” on the season)
Cataloochee – 2” (18” on the season)
Hawksnest – 2” (23” on the season)
Sapphire Valley – 5-6” (10” on the season)
Ski Beech – 2” (26” on the season)
Sugar Mountain – 2” (24” on the season)
Wolf Ridge – 2” (16” on the season)

None of the Virginia mountain reported anything more than a trace of snow. However here’s the snowfall totals on the season:

Bryce Resort – 0” (6” on the season)
Massanutten – 0” (0” measurable snow on the season)
The Homestead – 0” (1” on the season)
Wintergreen Resort – 0” (7” on the season)

The West Virginia resorts saw a light bit of snow anywhere from a trace to an inch. Here’s the numbers on the season.

Canaan Valley – 0” (64” on the season)

Snowshoe Mountain – 1” (61” on the season and 43” in the last 17 days!) This weekend is the Jose Cuervo Games of Winter and Monday is the infamous Cupp Run Challenge! Get ready to come out and take advantage of the best conditions around and our new Mission Mountain Escape package with two nights lodging and two lift passes for as low as $53 per person per night!

Timberline Resort – 0” (67” on the season)

Winterplace Resort – 1” (24” on the season)

Wisp Resort – 0” (52” on the season and 33” in the last two weeks!)

Ober Gatlinburg – 0” (6.5” on the season) They have “Southern Exposure Today!” Slope sessions Friday are 9am – 4pm and 3pm -10pm with $28 Lift Ticket. Friday Night 6:30pm – 10pm Lift Ticket Only $15. Grizzly closed today due to races. All slopes closed 4pm – 6:30pm due to races.


Cloudmont in A-L-A-B-A-M-A! I can’t type the name without the spaces! I grew up on Curt Gowdy reporting for Alalama football games from time to time. When Joe Willy Namath was the QB there old Curt would announce it something like, “The Quarterback from Beaver Falls, PA is now the QB here in Tuscaloosa, A-L-A-B-A-M-A.” I loved it. …and you HAVE to love little Cloudmont ski area. They received 2” of snow on Thursday and that’s what they’ve gotten on the season. Hey, that’s more than three of the Virginia resorts!

Check the SLOPE CONDITIONS page for all of the trail openings and expect the best conditions of the season no matter where you choose to ski or ride today. If you’re coming up to ski this weekend you’re in for a GREAT time and GREAT weather! The weekend will be cold with highs in the mid 20s and lows in the teens Saturday night and around 8° Sunday night. Monday is looking snowy with highs around 20° and a low near 2°!

Until Next Time…


Send comments and emails to: [email protected]  

For more information about the ski resorts of the Southeast and Mid Atlantic visit www.SkiSoutheast.com  


Next articleSnow and Cold Continues As Well As AWESOME Conditions at the NC Ski Resorts!
Mike Doble
Mike is the Editor and founder of SkiSoutheast.com, SkiNC.com and ResortCams.com. Since September 1996 he has posted more than 13,000 posts, articles, photos and videos promoting all of the ski areas of North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland.Mike is the father of four daughters, is an avid skier and enjoys golf, tennis, kayaking and hiking in the mountains. Winter snowsports and Summer boating on Watauga Lake are among his favorite pastimes.